The Ice Bucket Challenge has been copied many times in support of various causes, but none with such gruesome effect as the Blood Bucket Challenge. European youth are pouring buckets of red liquid over their heads and sharing the videos online because they feel the world is ignoring the bloodshed in Ukraine.
In a video from Lithuania, several people individually coat themselves with a bucket of "blood" and then a group of 20 or more do it en masse in an abandoned factory. Global Voices Online says the idea seems to have started with the FEMEN group in Ukraine, which poured buckets of simulated blood over two topless female activists in a protest against Russia.
But while the Ice Bucket Challenge had a clear aim — to increase donations for ALS research — the aim of the Blood Bucket campaign is less clear. In the group video, the call to action is: “Talk about it."
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Chimps practice gang murder — and it’s not our fault
Researchers studying chimp communities around the world have witnessed many cases of chimp murder. But they thought the behavior was unnatural. The scientists suspected that human interaction —through feeding, habitat destruction or just contact — was increasing the animals’ level of aggression.
Now, more than 30 researchers studying 18 chimp communities have brought their findings together and seem convinced that chimps are just naturally murderers. They found no apparent correlation between indicators of human interference and the rate of chimp murders.
The Washington Post reports that in 152 recorded cases of murder, most occurred when gangs of male chimps — on average eight — would attack a lone chimp from another community. Scientists suspect the chimps were killing to gain more access to resources, like territory and food. Which sounds like a fairly straight evolutionary path to human behavior.
These kids carry their brutal past into school with them
Earlier this year, Michelle Bran's father was murdered at her home in Honduras because he had witnessed a killing. The rest of the family fled north and were detained after crossing into the US. Now the four-year-old is one of about a thousand Central American kids who, after difficult journeys and often violent experiences, have started school in the Los Angeles district.
PRI's The World spoke to LA school officials who say the wave of children with traumatic stories is unlike anything they've seen before. Counselors have had to help kids through nightmares, crying fits and even memories of sexual abuse, so the children can focus on school. Michelle’s mother is simply glad her kids are safe and in school, getting a fresh start, even as she wears an ankle bracelet that monitors her location while she awaits the family's immigration hearing.
Tennis star Li Na gave the Chinese a love of tennis and gave athletes new freedom
Like the former East Germany and other centralized states that run athlete “factories,” China tends to churn out sports competitors who are hard-working, reserved and in it for the glory of the state. That's not Li Na. The 32-year-old became the first Chinese tennis player to win a Grand Slam tournament in 2011 — with 116 million of her fellow Chinese watching on TV.
"She’s very insightful, she’s very self-deprecating. She’s this great tennis player and this great tennis character," tennis writer Chris Chase told PRI's The World. He says her skill and temperament made tennis a popular sport in China. And she broke from the regimented Chinese training system for athletes and forged her own path, which included not turning over most of her winnings to the government. Li Na retired this week after one last bout of the knee problems that plagued her throughout her career.
What we are seeing on social
— Science Friday (@scifri) September 19, 2014
Weather around the world
The Philippines gets hit each year with an average of 20 typhoons. Compared to last year's Super Typhoon Haiyan — the worst on record — Tropical Storm Fung-Wong was relatively light, with winds reaching just 40 mph (65 kph.) Still, as it brushed by the country’s coast, it caused misery. On Friday, it dropped more than 10 inches (25 cm) of rain on Manila, shutting schools and government offices, canceling flights and causing flooding that sent 50,000 people fleeing their homes. Philippines news organization ABS-CBN reported on the reaction of one weary and displaced resident: "I am angry that I have to do this each time it rains hard."